this whole problem of bootstrapping a cluster where machines don't know who they are is pretty brittle right now. In an ideal world, even the NN would be able to work out its name/address and share it with the rest, but failing that, having everything else work out the details by asking the NN would be handy. It would also be good if everything provided (in the same process and via JMX) a list of (service, address, port) for all the different things that the node runs. I try to reverse engineer that, but it adds more scheduling problems (don't start the downstream nodes until the NN and JT are live), and for some reason jetty comes up bonded to 0:0:0:0:0:1 on one machine, which is particularly irritating.
so: +1 to this, I can see the BackupNode having the same problem on scaled up, as it needs to know both the NN and 2N addresses (note addresses, not hostnames.
Maybe we should open this up to a general "nodes to come up better on an under-configured network" bugrep which those of us who do underconfigure their networks can deal with.